I'm a creative person! I love to create, dream, market, network. I don't want to talk financials! I don't want to talk about statistics and market shares. I don't want to talk lawyers and accountants! So, here I sit. Five years in and major growth happening. I've hit that point where I'm making more money, but I need more money to grow. What to do? Up until this point I've always followed the law of bootstrapping. Growing out of my profits. But that only takes you so far when you want to grow faster!
One thing venture capitalists and bank loan officers have in common is the question "Do you have a Business Plan?"
Your business plan is your company's calling card. It allows you to see your business through your investor's eyes. As the name suggests it is a plan of your business; your communication tool; selling your marketing, sales and operations. Every time you have a meeting with a potential lender/investor it is your business plan that will do most of the talking.
A business plan is the key to long term success for new and old businesses. Your business must have a foundation to start from and you have to give your business time as success will take longer then merely weeks.
Your reason forwriting a plan will be different for each situation:
- If you are starting a new business you will require a plan to clearly assess every aspect of the business and show how it will succeed.
- If you are buying an already established business you will need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the business to decide if you will be able to make it a success.
- If you are already up and running and in need of extra finance you will need a plan to convince those putting capital into your business that you can and will succeed.
- If you are applying for one of the many grants available.
- (In my case) If you need to sit back and reasses your business and figure out just where it is you want to go and what you need to do to get there.
Here are some great places you can go for help with your plan:
Business Development Bank Of Canada
Small Business Finance Centre
The Business Link
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs
Bottom line if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This old saying has great merit and I encourage all business owners to write a business plan. It is an invaluable tool and usually directly relates to the success of your business.
If you don't hear from me for awhile...that's what I'll be doing!
Bouncing Off The Walls